nit·​pick | \ ˈnit-ˌpik How to pronounce nitpick (audio) \
nitpicked; nitpicking; nitpicks

Definition of nitpick

intransitive verb

: to engage in nit-picking

transitive verb

: to criticize by nit-picking … warns her lawyers not to nitpick on relatively simple matters.— Deborah L. Jacobs

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nitpick

nitpick noun
nitpicker noun
nitpicky \ ˈnit-​ˌpi-​kē How to pronounce nitpicky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for nitpick


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of nitpick in a Sentence

her husband nitpicks about everything: from how she puts the plates away to how she files the bills
Recent Examples on the Web Finding a best-in-class impact wrench is no small task—most models these days are so good that judging their subtle performance differences can feel like nitpicking. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "Sleep Soundly Under the Stars with the Nemo Rave," 29 Dec. 2019 In it, players complained about long film sessions, Beilein’s repeated nitpicking over basic fundamentals, not enough versatility on offense and a lack of understanding of the NBA game and opposing players. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers defend John Beilein after players anonymously question coaching methods: ‘I love coach Beilein’," 7 Dec. 2019 There’s no denying it anymore, no legitimate way to nitpick it or look for a weakness. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: With offense that seemingly can't be stopped, LSU is team to beat in Playoff," 8 Dec. 2019 My forecast summary there said UC would win despite plenty to nitpick from a lacking performance. Fletcher Page,, "College football 3 keys and prediction: UC Bearcats vs. No. 18 UCF Knights in Cincinnati," 3 Oct. 2019 While there's plenty here to nitpick, the film offers an interesting vision of the future and a plot that enables its focused human drama to become central to that future. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ad Astra: A journey upriver to meet your demons, internal and otherwise," 20 Sep. 2019 His average athletic tools and ongoing development as a playmaker who can legitimately run a team will be nitpicked. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "2019 NBA Draft Grades: Cavaliers Select Darius Garland With No. 5 Pick," 20 June 2019 Cynics often use the subject of food to nitpick at Extinction Rebellion activists (or vegan dinner-party guests). The Economist, "How to feed a protest movement: cooking with Extinction Rebellion," 18 Oct. 2019 Debating whether the number of Americans forced into bankruptcy by medical debt is 500,000 or some other figure is nitpicking, and woefully beside the point. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Medical bankruptcy is an American scandal — and that’s not debatable," 4 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nitpick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nitpick

1956, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for nitpick

back-formation from nit-picking

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nitpick

Time Traveler for nitpick

Time Traveler

The first known use of nitpick was in 1956

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nitpick

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nitpick.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on nitpick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nitpick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nitpick

Comments on nitpick

What made you want to look up nitpick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!